Saturday, April 30, 2011

Syrian Infantry

The infantry component of my Syrian army is now completed.
  • 3x Abdath City Militia
  • 2x Gaziz
  • 2x Kurdish light infantry
  • 3x Skirmishers

My aim in my next battle vs Kent is to use all the infantry and support them with less cavalry than I have been using up to now- we will see how that works out.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Impetus: Germans and Syrians

Whilst away on holiday for a few days I started my ancient German army for Impetus. I'm still not happy with the skin tones but will continue experimenting. So far I have completed:
  • 4x stands of warband
  • 2 rear ranks for large units
  • 1x stand of macemen
  • 1x medium cavalry

Here are the rear ranks of the large units of warband- only four figures per base. You can see the muddy swamp quite well in this one- I'm happy with the way this worked out.

And the Syrians- I rebased the Bedoiuns with 4 figures per stand last night (my latest army lists is only using 3 stands of heavier cavalry so I shouldn't miss the extra base). I will do the same with the Ghulums but will probably keep the Syrian Cavalry with only 3 figures per base to make them easier to tell apart from the Ghulums. I also rebased 2 stands of skirmishers. I really liked Jason and Jamie's 4cm deep bases for the skirmisher stands- it really made them stand out from the other units so I will, in time, slowly make my way through the skirmishers stands for my various armies and redo them on 4cm deep bases.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

8cm Basing for Impetus

Okay so here is my basing system for 28mm figures. All bases are 8cm wide but the base depth varies depending on the troop type.

The bases are almost the same as the suggested 15mm bases for Impetus but with an extra cm depth (in most cases).

  • Heavy Cavalry: 7cm, 3 figures. However for really heavy Cavalry (eg cataphracts) use 4 figures.

  • Medium Cavalry: 7cm, 3-4figures

  • Light Cavalry: 7cm, 2-3 figures

  • FP (Heavy infantry): 5cm, 6-8 figures- depending on the unit type- more irregular basing for Viking warband for example. Typically I place 4 figures in the front rank and 2-3 in the row behind.

  • FL (Light Infantry): 6cm, 6 figures in an irregular formation

  • Large Units: 10-12 cm Depending on the troop type (heavy or light infantry). One suggestion I‘m starting to use is a second standard base but with only 4 figures for the second rank of large units (up until now I’ve been using a second base with the same number of figures as the front rank). Jason however uses a double depth base with 10 figures which looks verty, very good.

  • T (Missiles troops): 5cm, 4-6 figures (I use 6 mainly as I like the look. i also prefer the lslightly shallower bases a bit better than using the same depth as the light infantry base.

  • S (Skirmishers): 4cm 2-3 figures- depending on what you prefer (I use 3). I have been using 5 cm depth but liked the look of Jamie and Jason’s skirmishers.

Advantages of 8cm bases over 12cm ones.

Impetus suggests the use of 12cm wide bases for 28mm gaming- mainly because many players base their figure for the WRG/DBX basing conventions (which I detest) and so two of these DBX bases side by side makes an Impetus base (well technically 4 would combine to make an Impetus unit). Personally the sooner the archaic WRG standard (6cm width x 2-3cm depth) is consigned to the dustbin of history the better! The fact is, and has been for several decades, that modern figures do not fit well on 6cm widths (especially if using the recommended number of figures to represent different troops types). In future I will be using multiples of 4cm (4, 8 and 12) for all armies.

One of the advantages of Impetus is that it actually requires less figures than some games to field an army and so 28mm gaming is once again affordable. The arrival of cheap, well proportioned plastics in 28mm from a range of manufacturers (often for less per figure than 15mm figures!), and for a range of eras, has led to a resurgence in this scale- which looks far more attractive on table than 15mm figures do (at last to this wargamer).

Although the “standard” or recommended 12cm Impetus bases give plenty of options for creating an army of wargaming vignettes or dioramas there are a few disadvantages. To my mind the main advantages of 8cm frontages are as follows:

1) Table size needed: compared to the 15mm widths you need an extra 1/3 wider table for a game, with 8cm bases two 500 pt armies fit comfortably on a standard (6x4ft) table.

2) Terrain: the larger bases can cause more issues when to comes to manoeuvring over or round terrain which means you need to simplify your terrain or use less of it- which can impact on the look of the game.

3) Figures needed: You can get away with even less figures on an 8cm base than with 2cm ones so you can get an army painted and on table faster- or field larger armies. Another win/win as far as I’m concerned.

4) Table top manoeuvring: Jamie and Jason have used both the 12cm recommend bases and my heretical 8cm ones and found that units were easier to move using the 8cm ones- there are less “traffic jams” on table as units get in ach others way. This may be partially not being used to using 12cm width units and therefore the need to have more room between units. However, as far as I’m concerned it is another bonus for our widths.

5) The look: Although not ass much room to make a diorama as on the 12cm bases there is still plenty of scope for adding interest to the base- and the base’s can be made to look more animated and action packed than 4 DBX bases wih barbarian troops in nicely organised ranks. This one is defiantly a bit of a compromise but the bases still look pretty good.

Is our basing perfect?
No, but it works for us. For me the key is the interaction between playability and look. Standard DBX bases fall short in this regards far as I’m concerned- the bases are too small (4 warband figures “standing to attention” just doesn’t do it for me).

For some players following the basing rules to the letter and they would not dare use their own basing standards, least the basing police come and take away their figures. For me though as long as two of us use the same conventions (or similar ones) we shouldn’t have too many problems.

So although there are some disadvantages of the 8cm frontages to my mind the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and it works for me and hence I am trying to convince other local gamers to at least consider this when building armies. However, if I do meet someone who insists on using 12cm bases it is a simple matter of building some 4cm wide sabots and we are good to go.

So for me, the 8cm base width is my preferred base size- you milage may, however, vary.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Impetus- NATCON Demo Games

Kent and I headed up to CHCh for our demo game of Impetus- it was a long day- 7am start, 2 1/2 hr drive to Christchurch, game then home again. It was worth it though.

Alas we got to Ashburton (1/2 way to CHCH) before I realised I'd left my camera at home- starting a bit early and waking up late is my excuse!. We got to the venue only to discover the one sharp corner we had gone round and tipped over my army carrying case in the boot of my car- first and last time I will put my army back there. Damage was minimal, just a of dehorsed cavalry and a couple of spears had come off- it could have been much worse!

Kent and my game we well. Kent's son, Justin, came up with us and he and Poochie, between his umpiring duties for FoW, joined in as co-commanders. Jason and Jamie were on the next table with 2x 400 pt armies- really nicely painted and great terrain. Between the two game we got a lot of players stopping by for a look, to check out the rules and be "converted"- well hopefully. A few players are showing interest for TAGCON and so that is looking promising for our 300 pt introductory competition.

The Syrian vs Crusaders game went the same way as the last two. Poochie rolled great dice and had the right flank Crusader command on the ropes but then he went away (umprijgn duties) and I managed to lose a couple of units and both commands on that flank broke- leaving Justin to pick off a couple of units to break my army- a lack of morale in both commands being my excuse. I am certain it is the lack of support nfantry (for cheap filler points to increase the Discipline Value-morale) is needed to add some staying power to my paper tigers. Another fun game though! However, I am tempted to run the army as Sultanate of Rum (with a few modifications) to see how that works- today the light horse were really staring to fire and can see mroe being a real handful to face.

We were planning on a big Teutonbourg Forest game for Conquest (Oct) and now Jason's force has "encouraged" me to work on my German army next...

Was also good to catch up with the FoW players form round the country but I am glad I'm not playing 3 days this weekend, I jsut don't think I could stay focused for that long (although it was great to catch upw ith players fomr round the coutnry and I'm looking forward to playing the Invercargill guys- who were at NATCON- at Southcon in June. For now, I'm looking forward to a few days at the bach with the family over the next week- and a chance to start work on the Germans!

Here are a couple shots of our game taken by Jamie- cheers Jamie!

And a few pictures from Kent:

Light infantry clash with dismounted knights.

the syrian Cavalry wotk theri way round the left flank.

My right flank- Bedoiun vs Turcopoles

Syrian light horse running riot and finishing off one general.

The dismounted knights clear the bad going of my light infantry.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Impetus: Syrians vs First Crusaders

A great game tonight, alas my luck deserted me in the last turn- along with my main commander and his followers.

Kent took to commands:
  • 20 point general (VD = 31)
  • 3 Cp knights
  • 4 CP knights foot
  • 2 crossbow
  • 2 CL turcoploes
  • 2 T Archers
  • 20 point General (VD= 25)
  • 4 CP knights
  • 1CP knight foot
  • 4 Fp infantry
  • 2 cross bow
  • Total point 498
My own commands had a VD of 20 and 17 so I was going to have to destroy a lot of stuff to win this one!

Kent Deploys

The Syrians Deploy

My Syrian cavalry on opportunity.

Kent sends his skirmishers forward.

Turcopoles advance.

Ghulums advance against the Crusader left flank.

The Syrian command advances- with the infantry leading.

The battle lines close.

Crusader knight tries to catch my infantry in the open!

Two Arab lancers take on a crusader knight.

And are quickly dealt with!

Skirmishing continues on my right flank.

Things are getting messy on my left!

Unsupported the crusader general engages the Ghulums.

Ah, some friends turn up to assist him.

But they are driven back- leaving the general unsupported and exposed!

The Crusader general is killed.

And the knight son the other flank are driven back...

Alas in my turn my own casualties are mounting and in fact Kent manages to get my larger command under half strength and so they retreat off the table, with my other command following. So close and yet so far.

Another close game which see-sawed and the result was always in doubt. I was quietly confident in that last turn but Kent massed his firepower and my force melted away.

The dead!

The difference in VD (break point for each command) is quite staggering- 51 pts to 37 so my force is a bit more fragile and I've yet to come to grips with it entirely. I think I need some militia levies to bulk out the force a bit more.

Hopefully I can do better on Friday.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

500pt Syrian army completed

I have finished the 500 pt Syrian force, just in time for tomorrow night's game vs Kent. I have to print some banners tomorrow after work but apart from that the force is good to go! I've decided to keep with only two commands. Once I get my Abdath City Militia completed (and add another 100 pts- 4x milita and either 2xGhulums or another 2x Turcomans) I'll add a third command and will probably group all the infantry into one command.

I have a plan to screen the Gaziz (impetuous fanatics) with the javelin armed Kurdish light infantry, but only tomorrow's game will determine if my cunning plan to stop my gaziz charging off into the wild blue yonder will work.

Average Command

Commander: Fair (+2 leadership)

  • 2x CM Ghulam Lancers
  • 2x CM Ghulum Archers
  • 4xCM Bedouin Lancers
  • 2x CL Turcomans
Commander: Fair (+2 leadership)
  • 4x CM Syrians
  • 2x CL Turcomans
  • 2x FL Kurds
  • 2x FL Gaziz
  • 1xS Archers
And now for a few pictures:

The infantry
- Kurdish light infantry and Gaziz.

4x Turcomans

4x Arab Lancers

4x Syrian Medium Cavalry

4x Ghulums

The cavalry arrayed for battle- ranked up like this they look pretty damn impressive!

And a rather basic camp.